Capitol Hill food+drink | Chavez will bring Durango-style tacos and Mexican small plates to 12th Ave

Chef Chavez (Image: Cantinetta)

Chef Chavez (Image: Cantinetta)

Simple, focused, shareable small plates and tacos from Mexico’s northern city of Durango. That’s the concept for Chavez, the latest Capitol Hill restaurant slated for a soft opening — this time, just after Christmas amid a flurry of food and drink news on 12th Ave.

Chavez is a culinary coming home for Duranguense head chef Gabriel Chavez. After five years in the kitchen at Cantinetta, Trevor Greenwood’s Wallingford Italian restaurant, Chavez is taking charge with his hometown favorites in Greenwood’s latest venture.

In addition to a rotating menu of tacos and anojitos (Mexican appetizers), Chavez will also feature one main seafood dish a night and a tasteful-but-not-overblown selection of tequila and mezcal. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Stevie Wonder on Capitol Hill

Stevie Wonder came to Seattle this week to sing, make a compelling speech… and eat at 12th Ave’s Plum Bistro Thursday:

Before his visit with Makini Howell, Wonder worked up his appetite the night before in a show at Key Arena where he introduced one of his classics by sharing a little wisdom on the week’s unrest:

There’s a better use for this: The marquee lights up at 12th Ave Arts

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

IMG_0916UPDATE: With speeches from a stage full of the movers and shakers who made the project happen, artists, and city and state officials, 12th Ave Arts opened its doors Thursday night.

Calling the project a new “center of community life” for Capitol Hill, Capitol Hill Housing CEO Chris Persons thanked the more than 200 capital donors who made the project possible and made way for a long roster of speakers there to introduce the project to the neighborhood. Rep. Frank Chopp got the audience on its feet to applaud “the Seattle spirit” and christened the largest of the two theater spaces in the facility with its first performance — his reading of the James Oppenheim poem Bread and Roses. The dignitaries even threw a few lines to the theater folk. Strawberry Workshop’s Greg Carter said he was ready to get to work in a building emblematic of Capitol Hill — a neighborhood with an environment open to creating “things that don’t make sense.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Rachel’s Ginger Beer comes home to 12th Ave Arts

This is what happens when you let Capitol Hill people into Pike Place Market (Image: RGB)

This is what happens when you let Capitol Hill people into Pike Place Market (Image: RGB)

Marshall, double fisting (Image: RGB)

Marshall, double fisting (Image: RGB)

Going to dinner and the theater at Capitol Hill’s 12th Ave Arts might not be the fancy-pants event some might expect. Capitol Hill farmers market born and bred Rachel’s Ginger Beer is finally opening a shop in its home neighborhood with a ginger beer and fry bar inside the new affordable housing + East Precinct parking + theater space + nonprofit office space + three food and drink space development.

“That was so a part of the drinking culture,” the Rachel in RGB told CHS while apologizing for being “boring” with a story about traipsing through Europe. “You get a beer and a bowl of fries.”

Hey, anytime there is traipsing involved, we’re interested. Especially when you’re talking les pommes frites.

Oh là là. Rachel Marshall’s latest Capitol Hill joint is slated to open this spring with all the goodness of Rachel’s Ginger Beer plus “a menu of crispy, hand-cut fries and 15 to 20 dipping sauces, including a fancy ranch.” The bar will serve ginger beer-based and carbonated cocktails. The bubbles will tickle. There will be ice cream for floats and, if you’re an animal, dipping fries. And you’ll be able to fill your growler or grab RGB to go.

“What I picture is kind of a place where you can go during the day and really feel comfortable opening your laptop but can also have a drink,” Marshall said. “And we can go into the night.” Continue reading

SPD releases video in search for Seattle U armed robbery suspects, getaway car

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 4.13.18 PMSPD robbery detectives have released security video and are asking the public’s help identifying the suspects and the getaway car in the November 10th armed robbery in a Seattle University parking lot:

Seattle University Robbery Video Released
Detectives are asking for your help finding two suspects and a getaway driver involved in a Seattle University robbery that happened November 11th (sic).

Officers on Wednesday released surveillance video taken from a Seattle University parking lot that shows two people getting out of a yellow Ford Crown Victoria. A few minutes later the suspects can be seen running back to the getaway car. One of the suspects can be seen turning and apparently point a gun at the victim across the parking lot. The car then pulls away and out of view.

Robbery detectives are asking for any information you may have on this case. Please call them directly at 206-684-5561.

Pixie Pop-up is a magical place sharing raw and baked treats from a 12th Ave doorway

(Images: Pixie Pop-up)

(Images: Pixie Pop-up)

About 10 years ago, Meghan Kroh had a wholesale baking business called Pixie making vegan treats. The business did well, but after about a year and a half, it got to be too much for her.

“I wasn’t prepared for the success,” Kroh said.

But she’s decided to dip her toe back into the baking game with Pixie Pop-up, selling treats and snacks Saturdays in front of People’s Kombucha at 1711 12th Ave.

This time around not all of the goods will be vegan, though vegans will certainly have lots of options, Kroh said. Instead she is focusing on using organic ingredients and cooking “raw.”

10649029_543698655776347_4128817995955121547_o

Fairy Fuel truffles

Continue reading

Juicebox, Cafe Barjot scale up to satisfy two-block Capitol Hill dinner crowds

(Image: Cafe Barjot)

(Image: Cafe Barjot)

They’re not necessarily destination restaurants but there is a new set of small, neighborhood dinners spots around the Hill ready to serve their thousands of walking-distance neighbors.

“We did so very little marketing but I asked for an email blast to the building,” Wylie Bush tells us about drumming up customers for a few quiet test nights of dinner at Bellevue Ave’s Cafe Barjot. The cafe space in the Belroy Apartments development will officially open for dinner next week. Born as a daytime sibling to nearby Joe Bar this summer, Barjot is now ready to add nighttime duty with a small but powerful dinner menu and European-style cocktails. Nick Coffey, formerly of Sitka and Spruce, runs the kitchen and turned out pork sausage, ravioli, and delicata squash for the first nighttime run in the cafe space.

“It’s such an awesome space,” Bush said of the buildout originally completed for the ill-fated Chico Madrid project. “It felt natural.”

Juicebox for dinner
12th Ave also is adding a natural place for dinner but after a much longer test run than Barjot. Continue reading

In Capitol Hill tech M&A, Redfin closes deal for 12th Ave’s Walk Score

Team Walk Score in front of a familiar Capitol Hill landmark (Image: Walk Score)

Team Walk Score in front of a familiar Capitol Hill landmark (Image: Walk Score)

Employees may not buy flashy new cars in celebration but there are probably going to be at least a few pairs of fancy new shoes on display around 12th Ave this week after Capitol Hill-headquartered start-up Walk Score’s big deal with Seattle-based online real estate company Redfin:

The real estate brokerage today is announcing the acquisition of Walk Score, a 10-person Seattle company that ranks millions of addresses across the country based on their walkability, bikeability or proximity to public transportation. It does this on a scale of 1 to 100 by measuring the distance from a specific addresses to certain neighborhood amenities, such as schools, restaurants, libraries and coffee shops.

Walk Score creates technology to measure walkability, bikeability and proximity to public transportation. You can check out your address’s score here. In 2012, the company secured a $2 million first round of financing.

The tie-up, Mobilisafe CEO Giri Sreenivas points out, marks the second recent successful “exit” for tenants of the Hunters Capital-owned Ballou Wright building on 12th Ave:

Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | What’s it mean to be home to the 6th best bar in the world? 12th Ave whiskey and bitters emporium Canon will show you

IMG_0278Ask two people on Capitol Hill for the best bar in the Seattle Inner City and you’ll get three different opinions. But somehow, the industry journal Drinks International is able to rank the 50 best bars in the entire world. This year 12th Ave’s Canon came in at number 6.

What does that mean for you, dear Capitol Hill drinker?

Since it opened in 2011 with a 12-page menu, Canon has steadily grown and tweaked its dizzying selection of spirits, bitters, and ornate cocktails. It now boasts one of the largest spirit menus in the country — a 130-page tome (PDF) that represents around $1 million worth of inventory.

Owner Jamie Boudreau said the recently released top ranking took him by surprise. Even though Seattle’s high-end food+drink culture has grown by leaps and bounds, Boudreau said the city is still considered quite provincial in the craft cocktail world.

“To crack the top ten when I know the judges are always in New York, always in London, always in Chicago, it’s impressive,” he said. “To have a recognition of Seattle’s cocktail culture is really great. It’s nice that the city is starting to get noticed.”

IMG_0351

Continue reading

CHS Pics | Since 1937, a Taste of Russia on Capitol Hill

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

IMG_7564Even as its neighborhood grows up around it, 13th Ave’s Saint Nicholas Cathedral continued 77 years of tradition Saturday with a day of crafts, caviar and vodka.

The annual Taste of Russia celebration on Capitol Hill usually coincides with the relatively gargantuan Greek Festival down in Montlake. On 13th, the lines were shorter and you could find way more caviar. Uncle Vanya’s Vodka Hunt surely finished off any regrets over missed gyros.

Consecrated in December 1937, Saint Nicholas has remained part of the neighborhood long after the communities it serves have drifted off the Hill and even as other are connections to the Motherland have been targeted for protest. Still, it remains an active and colorful neighborhood landmark — especially on the yearly Taste of Russia Saturday.

Last year, a construction project some 80 years in waiting was finished to complete the original plans for the cathedral.

The cathedral is located at 1714 13th Ave. You can learn more at saintnicholascathedral.org.

More pictures, below.

IMG_7591

Continue reading